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6.6-magnitude earthquake rocks Italy

October 30, 2016 earthquake in Italy via USGS
October 30, 2016 earthquake in Italy via USGS

The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in central Italy this morning (October 30, 2016). There are no deaths or serious injuries reported so far, but several people had to be pulled from rubble. And several buildings have been destroyed, including the Basilica of St. Benedict at the Monastery of St. Benedict in Norcia, Italy. At this writing, there are 11 casualties reported, with aftershocks occurring about every 20 minutes, according to CNN.

Today’s quake comes nearly two months after a major earthquake in Italy on August 24, 2016. The earlier quake killed almost 300 people and destroyed several towns.

See satellite images of the aftermath of the August 24 earthquake

Casualties from the October 30 quake were much lighter, possibly because the Italian government had earlier evacuated people to shelters, following a series or foreshocks (tremors) several days ago. CNN said:

Many residents in the region had already evacuated to emergency camps and hotel rooms paid for by the government after the tremors just days ago, and schools had shut down in anticipation of powerful aftershocks.

The monks of Norcia issued a statement saying:

The monks are all safe, but our hearts go immediately to those affected, and the priests of the monastery are searching for any who may need the Last Rites.

USGS said:

The October 30, 2016 M 6.6 earthquake north of Norcia, Italy, occurred as the result of shallow normal faulting on a NW-SE oriented fault in the Central Apennines.

Meanwhile, in Rome – about 100 miles away (170 km) – people also felt the October 30 earthquake. Steph Kirchgaessner (@skirchy on Twitter) is The Guardian’s Rome correspondent. Here are some of her tweets from this morning.

Get live news on the Italy earthquake from the Guardian

Here is CNN’s page on the Italy earthquake

Here is the BBC’s report on the Italy earthquake

Bottom line: A 6.6-magnitude earthquake – strongest earthquake in Italy in 36 years – struck central Italy on October 30, 2016.

October 30, 2016

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